Vintage Guitar Flashback: Gibson ES-5

FLASHBACK: Taking a look back at a vintage Gibson ES-5 archtop guitar.

The Gibson ES-5 is a prime example of the Jazz influence in American music. The ES-5 was first introduced in 1949 and is constructed of a laminated maple body and maple neck with rosewood finger board and adjustable rosewood bridge.

Vintage Gibson ES-5

Vintage Gibson ES-5


As you can see, the ES-5 came equipped with three P-90 pickups, which was rather unique at the time. (Fender didn’t introduce the three-pickup Strat until 1954.) Interestingly enough, the pickup configuration of the ES-5 does not include a selector switch. Instead, the ES-5 boasted a single tone pot and three individual volume controls.

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The guitar pictured is a 1952 model and happened to pass through my shop last month. I was fortunate enough to find a few minutes to indulge and was swept away by this beautiful instrument. The playability and tone were as unique as the guitar itself.


From Soho Guitar in Tampa, FL, I’m Rob Meigel.

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